The chemical composition of a metal/ceramic interface on an atomic scale: The Cu/MgO {111} interface

H. Jang, D. N. Seidman, K. L. Merkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The chemical composition profile across a Cu/MgO {111}-type heterophase interface, produced by the internal oxidation of a Cu(Mg) single-phase alloy at 1173 K, is measured via atom-probe field-ion microscopy with a spatial resolution of 0.121 nm; this resolution is equal to the interplanar spacing of the {222} MgO planes. In particular, we demonstrate directly that the bonding across a Cu/MgO {111}-type heterophase interface, along a <111> direction common to both the Cu matrix and an MgO precipitate, has the sequence Cu|O|Mg... and not Cu|Mg|O...; this result is achieved without any deconvolution of the experimental data. Before determining this chemical sequence, it was established, via high-resolution electron microscopy, that the morphology of an MgO precipitate in a Cu matrix is an octahedron faceted on {111} planes with a cube-on-cube relationship between a precipitate and the matrix; that is, {111}Cu//{222}MgO and <110>Cu // <110>MgO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
JournalInterface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Cu/MgO heterophase interface
  • Metal/ceramic interface
  • atom-probe field-ion microscopy
  • high resolution electron microscopy
  • internal oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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